Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our New Police Chief, Joe Ribeiro

This evening, we had an informal meeting with Joe Ribeiro, who will begin as Manitou Springs' new Chief of Police in two weeks. He was very low-key and easygoing. In fact, he met us at Soda Springs Park and he just chilled for a couple of hours, without looking for a problem or acting like anything other than a dude who wanted to hang out at the park.

I really liked a lot of what he had to say, including that he will be working to train the police force not to profile. Mr. Ribeiro said that it would be ideal if a police officer could be basically blind when it comes to who they enforce. If a yuppie is doing something against the law, the law will be enforced. If a dirty hippie isn't doing anything wrong, the police officer will say hello and keep walking.

I have to say that if he is true to his word, this is a major improvement in the Manitou Springs Police Department. I spoke with a woman today who is in her 60s and she told me that for as long as she can remember, Manitou Springs has been a laughingstock, as far as police departments go, of the entire county. Police harassment has been rampant for many years and Manitou has been famous for it. If Joe Ribeiro can break that pattern, all of the inhabitants of the town will be much happier and relaxed. No more threats of being tazed if someone says they refuse to be unlawfully searched!

Let's all keep our eyes out and our minds open to a cool Police Chief and report what we find, good or bad. Until he starts his new job, I hope he enjoys his vacation he's planning on taking.


  1. I'll second what Amanda says here. Joe Ribiero is a cool guy. He's a cop, make no mistake about it, but he's a vet, not a rookie. He's had time for his humanity to creep through a lot of the training, and he's going to work with the community, not against it.

    It doesn't mean that the Police are going to stop enforcing the law, it means that they aren't going to be pushed as hard by the chief to harass people.

    We, as a community, need to keep involved with him and help him get to know what kind of town he just got hired to work in. We also need to take a long, hard look at our legislators. The fact is, if he's pushed by City Council to do some draconian shit, it's his job.

    If we continue the voter registration drive and put pressure on Council, they, in the interest of political self-preservation, might stop attempting to use the Police Department as a private muscle squad.

    To say it again, though, Joe Ribiero is a cool guy. Let's not make him have to act like a dick.

  2. That's encouraging. Keeping fingers (and eyes) crossed.

    By the way, if he seems a bit resistive to my idea, you might remind him of the revenue stream from a self-service guillotine up there on the Soda Springs stage. Like a carwash. Tell him he gets to be last in line, so that way he can use all those quarters for buying snacks. I don’t think anyone would mind if he waits until everyone else in Manitou has guillotined themselves, because, like, who wants to live in a lawless town, you know?

  3. I was thinking we ought to convert the roundabout into a guillotine platform. It's in THE prime location for public execution. I like the idea of chopping the whole town, but that means we'll have to invite visitors to keep the end of the line executions public.

    Transparency is big these days. We don't need any claims of secret, backdoor beheadings. No one likes that.

    If we bring in visitors, though, we could technically count their presence as residence, and give them the chop, too! Done right, this could take care of that population zit that we're having such a problem with.

  4. I see you're ahead of the game, in a roundabout sort of way. Location, location, location + glasnost = a clear social complexion.